Data blitzes are 5-minute oral presentations given in front of a small audience in a classroom setting. These talks are meant to offer a fast-paced overview of your research accompanied by a visually compelling and concise powerpoint presentation. Your goal is to highlight your key findings and make them clear and accessible to a broad audience. It is important to note that only one person will be able to present a data blitz.

Preparing Your Talk

  • We are using PC computers with Microsoft PowerPoint. If you are creating your presentation with a Mac, you must use an updated version of PowerPoint for Apple. You must also use a common font, such as Arial or Times New Roman.
  •  When preparing your talk, organize your content to fit into 5 minutes. Your PowerPoint slides should complement your speech and convey your ideas in an accessible way.
  • Visual aids are meant to assist your verbal presentation, not replicate it. Do not type your speech directly into your slides. Your slides should include pictures, charts, graphs, scales, and concise statements that highlight your main points.
  • Work closely with your research advisors to prepare your presentation. Faculty, postdoctoral mentors, and graduate students can also assist you with organizing your talk and preparing your PowerPoint presentation.

Presentation Content

  • A faculty or graduate student moderator will introduce you and your talk topic.
  • You will present for 5 minutes and then will have a few minutes to answer questions before the next speaker will present.
  • Someone will keep track of time and provide you with visual cues as to your remaining time.
  • In preparing for your presentation, please remember that your goal is to communicate your ideas effectively and efficiently. You should provide sufficient background information for your audience to follow the logic of your project.
  • Avoid jargon and acronyms. However, if used, please define technical terms and/or acronyms for the audience.
  • Avoid excessive text.
  • Consider using animations to emphasize key points, but these should be used sparingly.
  • Avoid using video or audio components in your presentation.

Sample Structure


  • Provide essential theoretical background, the rationale for your project, and your key research question/hypotheses.
  • Consider using a simple, everyday example to introduce your idea/topic.
  • Keep things concise. Your goal is to tell a clear and compelling story.


  • Give a brief description of subjects and experimental design. A figure of your paradigm is very helpful for describing the design of your study.
    • Be sure to clearly define your variables and tasks.
    • Only present methods related to the key findings of your study. You do not (and should not) present everything you did if it doesn’t fit into a 5-min talk.
    • Due to the short format of the talk, avoid excessive and unnecessary details about your methods or analyses. These just need to be sufficient to understand the design and how it tests your hypotheses.


  • Include descriptive or inferential statistics in long (e.g., F(2,148) =12.67) and/or abbreviated form (e.g., *p < .05). Be sure to include error bars in your graphs. In your spoken presentation, describe the nature of the effects and whether they statistically support or go against your hypotheses.
    • Typically, it’s best to focus on one key result per slide. The information should be digestible.
    • Use informative titles for data slides rather than generic ones. For example, rather than simply putting “Behavioral Results”, state the result (e.g., “Emotion enhanced memories for pictures”).
    • You do not need to describe all analyses/results. Your goal is to highlight the key findings. Oftentimes, less is more.


  • Discuss the relevance of your results within the context of the theoretical framework that you presented in your introduction.
    • Discuss the broader implications of your work.
    • If time, discuss any problems you encountered, unusual effects, etc.
    • If time, consider discussing future directions.

For additional advice on giving a compelling talk, see the following video: